Leo’s Monster

Leo’s Monster by Marcus Pfister
Published by North-South Books
Date: 5 May 2022

I feel like Leo’s Monster is a really different book from what Marcus Pfister typically writes. Many of you will be familiar with his The Rainbow Fish books, and they have a very recognisable look and feel about them. This is not to say I didn’t enjoy this book because I did, it just wasn’t what I was expecting from him. I feel like his sense of humour really shone throughout this piece of writing, and it was really lovely to see something different from him.

I must first mention what I think of the illustrations because my feelings are mixed or were… at first, I was unsure that I liked the illustrations, but as I continued to read through the book, they grew on me, and I decided I liked their point of difference. I don’t think I have seen a children’s book illustrated like this before, I cannot be sure, but it looks as though Marcus has used sponges with paint. Whatever he has used, it is unique.

Leo is a city mouse who visits his friend Zoe in the country. While he is there, he meets a huge, terrible, gigantic monster with horns and a loud roar. At least this is what Leo says he has seen, but Zoe thinks it is just Bertha, the cow.

The story is charming, and I can see that it will be a lot of fun reading to children, especially when Leo is trying to describe the ‘monster.’ I love a story that allows you to build momentum with your voice and creates intrigue as you turn the page. I like the cheeky sense of humour of Leo’s friend Zoe and how she knows that there isn’t a monster but has fun with Leo about it anyway. I also think it is very creative how the ‘monster’ morphs throughout the story, and it feels like a child’s imagination is playing out on the page.

Overall, I think this book will be a lovely read for children and an excellent addition to Marcus Pfister’s collection of books.

Thank you Netgalley and North-South Books for the opportunity to read and honestly review this book.

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